Getting the House Ready for Baby

Dated: 03/07/2019

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If you're a new parent, or a new grandparent, ensuring your house (or Grandma's house) is a safe place for your child to play and grow is forefront on your mind. While it might seem like having to "baby proof" is light years away when you first bring home baby, the days of all-nighters, constant holding and rocking, feeding and diaper changing will end, and before you know it you will have an active toddler, preschooler, then small child in your midst. Below are some tips to prepare your home for your new little bundle of joy.

With more than 1/3 of childhood injuries and deaths occurring at home, KidsHealth.org reminds us of the importance of supervising children. While it may seem like obvious advice, accidents can happen in a split-second.

Educate yourself and be prepared in advance for an emergency by learning first-aid, CPR and age-appropriate Heimlich maneuver. Keep important numbers handy and accessible (like the children's primary doctor, caregiver, fire, police, poison control, parent's work and cell numbers, neighbors, and relatives).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also recommends making use of the safety devices out there to help protect children. To be effective, they must, of course, be properly installed. It's also important to note that no device is 100% childproof; determined youngsters have overcome or disabled them. Some devices you may already be aware of, and others may not apply. This following list is a good starting point to springboard from.

Safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas are tops on the list. Preventing children from reaching those areas means keeping them away from poisons, household cleaners, medicines and sharp objects. Safety gates help to prevent falls and keep children out of rooms that are off limits and other dangerous areas. For the top of the stairs, look to gates that screw into the wall. Watch out for the old-style safety gates that have the "V" shape which no longer meet safety regulations and have entrapped children’s heads and necks. Door knob covers and locks help to prevent children from entering rooms that might pose a threat. They slip over the door knob, and are generally difficult for a child to open, yet are easy enough for an adult to use should they need to get into the room. Anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads and setting your water heater to a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit can help to prevent scalds and burns. Outlet covers and outlet plates can be used to prevent electrocution. Use smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside bedrooms to alert you of the threat of fire and remember to test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year. Use CO2 detectors to prevent CO poisoning also remembering to change the batteries. Window guards and safety netting will help to prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings. Corner and edge bumpers help to prevent injuries against sharp furniture edges and hearths. Use cordless window coverings in homes with children to help to prevent injury from strangulation. Use anchors to prevent injury from furniture and appliance tip-overs. Layers of protection on pools and spas are vital including a 4 ft tall fence with a self-closing self-latching gate to start. Doors heading to the pool from the house should have an alarm or a power safety pool cover. Pool alarms can serve as an added layer of protection.

Mother Teresa said, "Love begins by taking care of the closest ones--the ones at home." Baby-proofing our homes is a perfect example of taking care of the littlest ones.

Melissa Rolland is a Real Estate Salesperson and Realtor®, Accredited Home Stager, and author of the book Straight from the Kitchen Table: Every Day Real Estate. She lives in Tolland, CT along with her husband Todd, an Associate Broker and Realtor®. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group powered by eXp Realty of CT, LLC. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com or (866) 408-8059. “The statements and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of EXP REALTY INTERNATIONAL, INC. or its subsidiaries or affiliates (the “Company”). The Company does not assume any responsibility for, nor does it warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided.

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Melissa and Todd Rolland

Melissa Rolland is a real estate salesperson, accredited home stager and has been a real estate investor for over a decade, helping hundreds of homeowners buy houses, sell houses, and invest in real e....

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